Expert sees no threats for Rublev’s Trinity icon, kept in Christ the Savior Cathedral

MOSCOW:  Director-General of the Grabar All-Russian Art Conservation Center Dmitry Sergeyev said he saw no critical threats that may endange...


MOSCOW:  Director-General of the Grabar All-Russian Art Conservation Center Dmitry Sergeyev said he saw no critical threats that may endanger the 15th century Trinity icon, recently transferred to the Christ the Savior Cathedral.

"I do not have the entire scope of data from the measuring equipment, installed in the Christ the Savior Cathedral and inside the protective shell that encases the icon itself, but, according to my information, the temperature is maintained within the prescribed levels, and humidity is slightly different from the ideal, from the conditions in which the icon used to be stored," he said.

However, the expert added that the protective encasement rules out the most dangerous factor that may affect the icon’s preservation, namely rapid changes in temperature and humidity. Preventing them is the most serious task at the moment, Sergeyev explained.

"The thing is that the most serious, even critical, damage may be done when rapid changes in temperature and humidity occur," he said. "As far as I know, the protective encasement maintains stable temperature and humidity inside it."

The Trinity is an icon created by famous Russian painter Andrey Rublev in the first half of the 15th century. A masterpiece of Russian art, it is believed to have been painted by Rublev for the Trinity Monastery (now the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius) at the request of Reverend Nikon of Radonezh (1350-1426), a disciple of St. Sergius of Radonezh and the second abbot of the monastery after him. The icon was moved to the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow in 1929 and has been kept there ever since.

It was originally planned that the icon will be on display at the cathedral until June 18 and after that it would be taken for restoration. However, later the ministry of culture extended the icon’s display period at the Christ the Savior Cathedral until July 19, 2023 at the request of the Russian Orthodox Church to give believers an opportunity to worship the icon on St. Sergius of Radonezh Day celebrated on July 18. According to the ministry, the icon is in a stable condition and the there is no sharp fluctuation in temperature and humidity at the cathedral.

On May 15, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his decision to transfer the icon from the Tretyakov Gallery to the Russian Orthodox Church. Then, the Russian Orthodox Church said that the icon will be accessible to the faithful at the Christ the Savior Cathedral from June 4 to June 18. The patriarch, however, said that he expects that the icon will remain in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral for a year, and then it will be returned to its historical place in the Trinity Cathedral of the Trinity Lavra (Monastery) of St. Sergius, located outside Moscow. Meanwhile, the State Tretyakov Gallery then said that the icon must be returned to the museum’s depository no later than June 19, 2023. On June 18, the Russian Orthodox Church said on its website that the Trinity will stay at the Christ the Savior Cathedral until July 18.


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Local Glob: Expert sees no threats for Rublev’s Trinity icon, kept in Christ the Savior Cathedral
Expert sees no threats for Rublev’s Trinity icon, kept in Christ the Savior Cathedral
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